“Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”
–Hippocrates, Father of Medicine
Most of us have heard that diets high in fruits and vegetables can help us lose weight, reduce
our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, macular
degeneration, osteoporosis, arthritis and even wrinkles. As a matter of fact, 8 to 10 servings
a day can cut our cancer risk in half!
In 1998, the University of Naples in Italy studied 70 to 100 year olds and found that the
healthiest and longest lived ate a lot more fruits and vegetables.
Therefore it comes as no surprise that the USDA Food Guide Pyramid advocates eating 5 to 9
servings of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health!
Food science has just recently come to realize that there is much more to micronutrient
nutrition than just vitamins and minerals. Indeed, there may be well over 1,000 different plant
chemicals, known as phytonutrients, that may have metabolic activity in humans! These include
classes such as the polyphenols, carotenoids, flavinoids, coumarins and isothiocyanates, just
to name a few! Some serve as antioxidants, some assist the liver in detoxification, others
modulate the immune system and hormone metabolism. Research on phytonutrients is an exciting
new frontier for nutritionists.
Further study has shown that the fruits and vegetables that come in rich vibrant colors, like
tomatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, blue berries and raspberries, are much more potent and
beneficial than the pastel colored produce like ice berg lettuce, bananas, celery, corn and
Plus certain foods may contain greater quantities of enzymes, fibers, probiotics, and even
specific medicinal substances, the later being especially true of many edible herbs and spices.
The Super Foods and The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)
As we have become more aware of the amazing and broad spectrum of health, antiaging, and
disease preventing benefits of foods especially high in this “new” array of such
micronutrients, a new name for them has arisen, the “Super Foods”.
The “S.A.D.” fact remains, that in spite of all the support from mainstream medicine
organizations like the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association, and
governmental health organizations like the National Institute of Health, the National Institute
on Aging, the USDA, and even the U.S. Surgeon General, few of us eat the recommended minimum of
two fruits and three vegetables daily. Even counting the "pale" plants like French fries,
green-gassed bananas and ice burg lettuce, few achieve the daily minimum, much less. How many
fewer of us enjoy the optimal 8 to 10 servings, and that emphasizing fresh and organic
phytonutrient dense fruits and vegetables of deep and bright color!
The reasons for this lack are many and varied, and deeply ingrained in our American culture and
lifestyle, though it can hardly any longer be accounted to ignorance. What is obviously need is
a "fast food health food" that delivers much of the proven benefits of a diet rich in super
foods, but like any other “fast food”, in a extremely convenient, absolutely enjoyable, and
most economical form.
This paper will briefly introduce to the reader some of the benefits of many of
the most beneficial super foods and super food extracts.
The Super Greens: Spirulina, Chlorella ,and Young Barley Sprouts
Super Greens are those chlorophyll saturated dark green plants that make up the very foundation
of complex life on earth. By this statement I mean that such green foods make up the beginning
of the plant food chain upon which the more complex animals all depend directly or indirectly.
As such these dark green plants foods contain all the essential building block nutrients or
precursors upon which all other life eventually depends.
In the oceans and great lakes these super foods are one-celled plants called spirulina and
On land, these foods are the young spring time sprouts or shoots of the seed producing grasses
and the green herbs. Examples are barley grass, wheat grass and alfalfa.
Spirulina is a primordial aquatic micro-blue green algae, which takes its energy directly from
the sun and the minerals in water. It grows so fast that Spirulina accounts for up to one half
of the oxygen on our planet!
Spirulina contains over 100 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients !
Spirulina contains high levels of easily absorbed natural cell protectors (antioxidants)
including chlorophyll, alpha and betacarotene and phycocyanin.
Doctors Sklar and Schwartz of Harvard School of Dental Medicine showed an extract of
spirulina’s antioxidants prevented cancer in animals. And phycocyanin is found exclusively in
Spirulina! Indeed, according to A. Patterson, C.N.C., there has been more positive research on
Spirulina algae than any other food source known to exhibit anticancer properties.
Spirulina is approximately 65 - 70% amino acid proteins, which is greater then beef steak by
far! Spirulina is a natural treasure trove of organic vitamin B12, iron, chromium, selenium and
essential fatty acids (GLA). Indeed, spirulina contains 50 times more blood building iron than
spinach and 10 times more bone building calcium than milk. Spirulina is the highest natural
plant source of stamina building Vitamin B12, has more good fats (GLA /EFA) than evening
primrose oil, and more Vitamin E than raw wheat germ!
Spirulina also contains growth factors that support and promote the growth of friendly
intestinal flora. Such a food is called a prebiotic. This in distinction to fermented foods and
clabbered dairy products that actually contain many millions of healthy microorganisms, all of
which are called probiotics.
Spirulina, like all edible dark green plants, is also highly alkalizing, meaning that it helps
restore the acid–base balance. In other words, Spirulina helps neutralize the acidity caused by
eating excess meats, starches, sugars, soft drinks and preserved foods, excess stress, excess
exercise, environmental pollutants, drugs, alcohol, coffee and tobacco.
Spirulina is rich in tetrapyrolle pigments which makes it a great heavy metal detoxifier.
Dr David Williams, the famous editor of Alternatives For The Health Conscious Individual says,
“ if I were forced to limit myself to only one supplement, Spirulina would definitely be my
Cracked Cell Wall Chlorella
Chlorella is the #1 selling health food supplement sold in Japan. Chlorella, a unique
single-celled fresh water green algae, contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, nucleic
acids, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidant carotenes, and vitamins and minerals, especially zinc.
(The later often deficient in athletes and vegans.)
Chlorella actually contains twice as much clorophyll as Spirulina. Chlorophyll, the
phytonutrient that makes plants green, deodorizes, detoxifies and promotes the body's natural
Chlorophyll has also been studied for its potential in stimulating tissue growth, and in
stimulating red blood cell production. Perhaps most remarkable is the similarity between
chlorophyll and the red pigment in blood. Indeed, chlorophyll is just a hemoglobin molecule
with magnesium in the middle instead of iron!
According to an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Jan. 4, 1995),
chlorophyll fed to laboratory animals reduces absorption of three dietary carcinogens:
heterocyclic amines (found in cooked muscle meats), polycyclic hydrocarbons (found in smoked
and barbecued foods), and aflatoxin (a mold on peanuts). The chlorophyll formed complex
compounds with the carcinogens while they were still in the digestive tract, limiting their
Chlorophyll has also been found to reduce fecal, urinary, and body odor in geriatric patients.
Chlorella is also by far the richest source of age fighting RNA and DNA, the very building
blocks of life!
Chlorella is the most researched "green product" resulting in proof of numerous health benefits
including improved immune system function, heavy metal and pesticide detoxification,
"anti-tumor activity", and, because of CGF, chlorella growth factor, enhanced white blood cell
activity and quicker wound and ulcer healing!
Please note that as Chlorella, unlike Spirulina, has a cellulose wall that humans cannot
digest, it is important that “cracked cell wall” Chlorella be used.
Michael Rosenbaum, MD, MSC, noted medical doctor specializing in nutritional medicine, writing
in the M.D.’s Nutritional Bulletin, Spring 2001, calls chlorella, “by far the best and most
powerful of the nutraceuticals, foods that provide your body with the proper nutrition to heal
itself…There is nothing better for finally helping you feel the way you want to feel!”
Young Barley Sprouts
Barley grass is considered the most nutritional of the green grasses. You are aware that when
the great herds of the plains have survived the dry season or winter, nature provides them with
the most nutritious of foods for themselves and there soon to be born young, young green
sprouting grasses. Indeed green grasses are the only vegetation many herbivores eat and as such
supply their sole nutritional support from birth to old age!
But before green grasses undergo the reproductive cycle that creates the grains, they are in
the grass stage, and the grasses contain about the same vitamins and minerals as dark green
When these grasses are harvested at a young age, they have a different chemical makeup from
their adult counterparts. For example, wheat grass has 32 g of protein per 100 g, while wheat
flour has only 13 g per 100 g. Wheat grass has about 23,000 International Units (IUs) of
vitamin A per 100 g, while wheat flour has none. We can see then that the young grasses offer
us much greater nutrition.
Barley Grass Juice Powder, low temperature spray dried from pure organic juice, not milled
grass, is a green powerhouse that brings you a wide spectrum of natural nutrients in natural
proportion, as well as chlorophyll, live enzymes, and a unique and powerful antioxidant:
2"-0-glycosylisovitexin, reported to have antioxidant activity equal to or superior to vitamin
Green barley leaves contain a multitude of the body’s spark plugs, enzymes. Enzymes are the
catalysts for the body’s essential chemical reactions and are responsible for our digestive
processes, for providing cellular energy, and for antioxidant effects.
Despite their importance, most people do not get the enzymes they need. This is because heat
destroys enzymes, and most of our foods, whether cooked at home or processed, are heated and
the enzymes destroyed. The world’s greatest expert on green barely, Dr. Hagiwara, believes that
there may be thousands of active enzymes in green barley, especially superoxide dismutase
(SOD), a major detoxifying enzyme sometimes recommended in combating arthritis.
The young barley juice powder contains 13 times as much carotene as that of carrots, 55 times
as much Vitamin C as that of apples and 5 times as much iron as that of spinach.
Its potassium content works to balance the sodium in salt and so many other processed foods.
Many people note a diuretic effect like the "water pills", frequently followed by lowering of
an elevated blood pressure!
Recently, research has unveiled many other possible benefits of green barley leaves. Extracted
compounds may have cholesterol lowering effects, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-ulcer
After studying green plants for decades, Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, said, "It was clear to me,
then, that the leaves of the cereal grasses provide the nearest thing this planet offers to the
perfect food. For reasons of palatability, higher nutrient content, and favorable harvesting
features, green barley stands out as the best among these."
The More Familiar Super Greens: Spinach, Kale and Parsley
When I was a boy “eat your spinach” was a not uncommon exhortation by both my mother and
“Popeye the Sailorman”, though today I think some might consider such force feeding well nigh
near child abuse!
The dark green leafies, spinach, kale and parsley, are also treasure troves of vitamins,
minerals, carotenes and chlorophyll, the great detoxifier. (That is why it parsley and
chlorophyll are used in natural breath fresheners!) Of particular note are, folic acid (vitamin
B9), vitamin K, calcium, iron , and potassium, and the antioxidants lutien and zeaxanthin.
According to the USDA, folic acid is the most common dietary vitamin deficiency in the U.S.,
being deficient in 3 out of 4 diets. Indeed, only recently have we become generally aware that
folic acid deficiency is the usual cause of the unfortunately not uncommon neuro tube birth
defects. And many medications, including birth control pills and estrogen, increase the need
for folic acid! (Nutritional Science News, Sept. 2001, Vol6, No. 9; p.338)
Green leafy vegeatables are well known as being high in bone building calcium, but did you know
that Vitamin K is needed for strong bones, too? The Farmingham Health Study showed that those
with the highest vit. K intake had three times less hip fracture from osteoporosis! (Analyst
1988:113:393-7). In Japan vit. K is approved as a drug to treat osteoporosis! Fewer yet
realize that a recent analysis of published research on vit K concluded ” a substantial part of
the population is mildly deficient in vitamin K, and at the later stages this deficiency may
contribute to (not only) increased bone fracture risk, (but) arterial calcification and
cardiovascular disease, (too).” – Hematol Oncol Clin Noth Am 2000 Apr:14(2):339-53
Popeye sang “ I’m strong to the finish ‘cause I eats me spinach”. This was mostly thought
related to its rich iron content, which is also true of kale and parsley. Today, with our high
sodium, high protein, high processed food diets, we are even more in need of the alkaline ash
minerals, especially potassium, found so predominately in the super greens.
These minerals act as a buffer to neutralize excess acid. If not present in sufficient
quantities, the body “steals” these much mineral needed buffers from our bones, and thus such
deficiencies are thought to be a leading cause of osteoporosis. (American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition 2001:73, pp 118-122)
The discovery that there is a whole class of micro nutrients, called phytonutrients, that were
not vitamins, minerals nor fiber, but had dynamic health enhancing effect, is a big part of the
reason the major health agencies recommend a minimum of 5 different fruits and vegetables
One such class of phytonutrients are the antioxidant carotenes, of which the pro vitamin A beta
carotene is the most familiar. However, though the dark green leafies are a rich sources of
beta carotenes, there are numerous non-vitamin A carotenes found in these foods as well. Two of
the most rese3arched are lutien and zeaxanthin. According to Health Sense, August 2000, Vol.
VI, issue 8, numerous studies show that maintaining sufficient levels of lutien and zeaxanthin,
the only carotenoid antioxidants active in the retina of the eye, can prevent macular
degeneration and cataracts, two leading causes of age related blindness, and preserve youth
High consumption of green leafy vegetables containing lutien and zeaxanthin were determined to
be the protective agents that explained the low incidence of lung cancer in Fiji were 80% of
the men smoke! (Int. J. Cancer: 63, 18-23 (1995)).
The February 2000 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked lutien to a 17%
reduction in colon cancer risk.
Non-Green Super Carotenoids: Carrots and Tomatoes
There are two more carotenoid super foods we must mention, namely carrots and tomatoes.
Carrots are well known for their pro-vitamin A beta-carotene content, the abundance of which is
responsible for their bright orange color. In 1992, Caragay listed carrots in the top section
of his “Possible Cancer–Preventing Food and Ingredients” pyramid.
Tomatoes turn bright red because of the phytonutrient pigment called lycopene. Lycopene has
drawn attention because of its link in lowering the risk of lung and prostate and cancer (Jrnl
Nat Cancer Inst,12/6/95).
Says S. K. Clinton, M.D, Ph.D., of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, “The data strongly suggest
that tomato products should be a component of a healthy dietary pattern that includes at least
five servings of fruits and vegetables a day”
The Cruciferous Vegetables
When it comes to cancer fighting, the real champs may be the cruciferous vegetables.
Cruciferous vegetables contain detoxifying phytonutrients with rather unfamiliar names like
isothiocyanate, sulphoraphane and indole –3 carbinol, or IC-3 for short. These plant
micronutrients work by speeding up the production of enzymes, especially in the liver, with
which our bodies convert toxic, mutagenic, cancer causing substances into less harmful, even
beneficial substances. (Medical Committee for Aging Research and Education, Issue 2,
The 2000 January 5 th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute proclaims that the
cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts,
substantially lower the risk of prostate cancer in men. Numerous studies also suggest a
protective role in uterine, cervical and breast cancer in women as well (Cancer Chemother
Fruit: Berry Berry Good for You!
As a recent Newsweek article said "The day when doctors say--'Take 10 cherries and call me in
the morning'--may not be far off."
Most known phytonutrients are strongly related to pigment. Just as phytonutrient antioxidant
carotenoids tend to dominate in the dark green greens and bright red and orange vegetables, the
richly red/blue pigmented flavinoids, with names like isoflavones, anthocyanins, flavinols ,
catechins and phenols, tend to dominant in the fruits and herbs.
And the richest source of pigment and antioxidants in the fruit group are generally found in
the blueberries, raspberries, tart dark cherries, and deep purple plums/prunes. Indeed, these
fruits are the most potent source of antiaging antioxidants of any commonly eaten foods!
Antioxidants have been shown to increase immune function and decrease the risk of infection and
cancer. Antioxidants help by preventing or repairing damage done to the body's cells by free
radicals. Simply put, a free radical is a molecule with a missing electron. An antioxidant,
such as vitamin C, vitamin E or beta carotene, may donate one of its electrons to the free
radical. If no antioxidants are present, a free radical takes an electron from vital cell
structures, damaging the cell and eventually leading to disease.
Like so many Pac Men, the flavinoid antioxidants in berries, cherries and plums “eat up” free
radicals in the bloodstream helping prevent the development of cancer. These flavinoids have
even been called, "Mother Nature's all-natural chemotherapy agents".
Fruit phytonutrient flavinoids also play a role in preventing the development of heart disease
by discouraging fatty deposits in the arteries. Flavinoids even slow wrinkling, protect the
eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, and protect the aging brain. Indeed, they are a
main reason why fruits and vegetables have been called "Natures Anti Aging Wonders!"
Is it any wonder that most scientists believe it is far better to get a daily healthy dose of
dozens of different phytonutrients from micro-nutrient dense ”super foods” than it is to take a
mega dose of a few synthetic antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
For example, the 17 identified compounds in tart cherries that have antioxidant properties are
considered, in total, to be superior to the activity of vitamins E and C. In addition, they
contain compounds that help relieve the pain of arthritis, gout and even headaches with daily
Blue berries are by far the greatest common whole food source of eye/vision and brain/mind
protecting antioxidant flavinoids, being full of blue anthocyanins.
Cranberries, raspberries and tart cherries are the richest fruit source of ellagic acid, a
naturally occurring plant phenolic flavinoid phytonutrient that is known as a potent
anti-carcinogenic compound. Clinical tests conducted at the Hollings Cancer Institute at the
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) show that ellagic acid may be the most potent way
to prevent cancer!
And you should know that all the berries, not just cranberries, help prevent recurrent urinary
tract-bladder infections (UTI’s).
Four More Fabulous Flavinoids: OPC’s, Quercitin ,Green Tea and Red Wine
Oligoproanthrocyanins (OPC’s) are super rich in the anthocyanin bioflavinoid group of
phytonutrients. Found abundantly in berries, their very richest sources are grape seed and pine
bark extracts. These have been shown to be powerful antioxidants that are very much more active
than vitamins C and E, and our thought to protect against carcinogenic changes (Journal of
Clinical Oncology 2000;18:668-83).
Quercitin is the major representative of the antioxidant flavinol group, which group is
particularly known for preventing the oxidation of low density lipo-protiens (bad cholesterol).
Quercitin is found in fruits and vegetables, most notably onions and green apples. That is the
major reason why onions and green apples help prevent hardening of the arteries and the heart
attacks and strokes that such arteriosclerosis causes (Biomed pharmicother 51:305-3100,1997).
Quercitin has also consistently demonstrated a potent antitumor effect (Cancer Chemother
Green tea is also rich in antioxidant polyphenols that are thought to be the most active
ingredient as pertains to its much purported benefits of preventing cancer, heart disease, gum
disease and even tooth decay. The benefits of green tea flavinoid catechins for the heart are
greater than that of red wine, without the alcohol! (There is a 10% increase in breast cancer
for every alcoholic consumed on a daily basis according to the Family Practice News, April 15,
Speaking of red wine, the reason that red wine is more protective of heart disease than white
wines is because of the phytonutrient, resversitol, which gives dark grapes their deep red/blue
color. By extracting the resversitol as a supplement, one can get the antioxidant heart
protecting benefits of red wine, dark grapes and grape juice without all the alcohol and sugar.
Fruit and Vegetable Extracts
In order to approximate the health benefits of daily eating 8 to 10 serving of dark green, red,
orange, blue and purple fruit and vegetables, food scientists have created fruit and vegetable
extracts from the most nutrient dense organic varieties. These extracts become highly
concentrated phytonutrient super food supplements. Findings reported in the 38th annual
meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology show us that these supplements enhanced
“multiple immune functions…especially for people whose immune functions have been diminished”.
Dr O’Neill , Ph.D., of BYU’s Dept. of Microbiology was quoted as saying, “fruit and vegetable
extracts may be protective against cancer.”
Organic Food More Nutritious?
The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine (2001;7(2):161) reported the results of
part of the doctoral dissertation of Virginia Worthington, Ph.D., of John Hopkins University,
Baltimore. Dr Worthington found that the composition of conventionally grown American food has
declined dramatically in the past 60 years. For example, iron is lower by 32 percent, calcium
by 29 percent, magnesium by 21 percent. She also found that organically grown produce was
higher in most vitamins and minerals and lower in potentially harmful nitrates. Organic foods
were 29 percent higher in magnesium, 27 percent higher in vitamin C, and 21 percent higher in
iron. Using the USDA recommendation of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day,
Dr Worthington concluded that consuming organic produce could make the difference between a
deficient and adequate diet!
The Probiotics: Friendly Bacteria?
Evidence for probiotics, “friendly” bacteria like l.acidophilus. l. bifidum, l. bulgarus,
b.brevis, and s.thermophilus, is impressive according to Dan Lukaczer, N.D., writing in the
Sept. 2001, Vol.6, No, 9 edition of the Nutritional Science News. Inflammatory bowel disease,
urinary tract infections, diarrhea and even heart disease and colon cancer risk are favorably
effected by these symbiotic bacteria we host in our alimentary tract. No wonder we call them
“friendly”! Probiotics are so effective in inhibiting virally induced gastrointestinal
infections in children that hospitals, infamous as nosocomial vectors for such bugs, are
studying using them prophalactically when admitting children.
Of note, one of the ways we get “seeded’ with probiotics is through soil organisms on plants.
But our highly washed, even irradiated, vegetables may not contain near as many as we might get
‘eating from the garden”. And our often frequent ingestion of chlorinated water, antibiotics,
and other medications, along with low fiber, high sugar diets do not at all favor the growth of
friendly bugs in our intestines.
Clabbered milk products, like yogurt, and fermented plants foods, like sourkraut or tofu, are
important probiotic sources as well. As diary sensitivity is so common, especially in those
with chronic bowel problems, when supplementing dairy free probiotics are to be generally
“ friendly bacteria can… prevent cancerous tumors; inactivate viruses; produce natural
antibodies and vitamins,; reduce cholesterol… and even more wonders.”.- Dr David Williams,
editor of Alternatives For The Health Conscious Individual.
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Plant Enzymes, Digestive Dynamos!
Natural plant enzymes, like protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, lactase, and bromelain and
papain (from pineapple and papaya) help us to digest food stuffs; respectively, starches,
fats, cellulose, milk products and proteins. Raw foods, or foods processed below 108 degrees
F., maintain their enzyme activity. Of course, only man cooks his food. All other animals eat a
“raw” and therefore a relatively more or less enzyme rich diet. The proposed advantages of a
diet rich in raw and low temperature processed plant foods, or supplementing these natural
plant enzymes, are well stated in the following quote by I. V. Jimenez-Velasquez, Vice-Chair
of the Dept. of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, “As we age, our natural
digestive enzymes are depleted, allowing food to ferment (rot) in the digestive tract. Many
experts believe that this undigested matter becomes quite toxic, causing many of the health
problems associated with aging, such as joint distress, ulcers, bloating and constipation.”
Natural Plant Fiber Facts